Agriculture Commodities in the Mid Atlantic
A Commodity is an article of trade or commerce, especially an agricultural or mining product that can be processed and resold.
- Broilers -
Broiler operations began in the 1930’s as a separate industry that operated year round as opposed to previous operations producing seasonal “spring chickens.” Due to all the improvements made to the broiler industry, chicken consumption in the United States surpassed pork consumption in 1985 and beef consumption in 1992. The impacts from the broiler industry are readily seen in Region 3 states. Maryland and Delaware are the leading producers of broilers in the region. Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia are among the top 15 states in the nation in broiler production. Also, Pennsylvania is one of the largest egg producing states. In 2006, Pennsylvania ranked third in egg production with a total value of 238.4 million.
In addition to broilers and layers, Region 3 also produces turkeys. The Commonwealth of Virginia is the third leading national producer of turkeys with over 21 million. In addition, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are among the top 20 states producing turkeys. Rockingham County in Virginia is the leading county in the United States with over 13.7 million turkeys. On the regional scale, Virginia produces over 57% of the region’s turkeys, followed by Pennsylvania with over 31%, West Virginia with 9.5%, and Maryland with 2%.
- Crops - In addition to livestock and poultry operations, the Mid-Atlantic Region is also noted for its crop production diversity. There are a variety of traditional crops grown in the region such as corn, wheat, barley, soybeans, oats, rye and mushrooms. Other crops that are cultivated and harvested in the region are sorghum, cotton, tobacco, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peanuts, vegetables and fruits such as cherries, apples, grapes, peaches, and pears. Other crops include ornamental plants, nursery/greenhouse crops, and Christmas trees. Barley production in the region is led by Pennsylvania and Maryland. Soybeans for beans are grown in each Mid-Atlantic region state. Pennsylvania is the top producer of soybeans with over 37%. Oats for grain are primarily grown by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with over 92% of the region’s oats. Rye in the region is solely produced by Pennsylvania with more than 7.9 million bushels annually. Pennsylvania leads the United States in mushroom production, with an annual production of more than 496 million pounds between 2007 and 2008. Mushroom production in Pennsylvania accounts for over 62% of all U.S. mushroom production.
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- Dairy - The dairy industry is commonly associated with the Mid-Atlantic region states. On a national level, Pennsylvania ranks fifth in dairy production. In the region, Pennsylvania produces over 77% of the region’s dairy cows. In addition to dairy cows, beef cows are also produced. Virginia produces 63% of the region’s beef cows.
- Hogs and Pigs - The hogs and pigs industry as a national industry has remained relatively stable over the last century. In recent years, since the mid 1980’s, the pork industry has started to increase production. In terms of national leaders in pork production, Pennsylvania ranks 12th and Virginia ranks 15th nationwide. The pork industry is also another predominant agricultural industry in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania produces over 73% of the region’s hogs and pigs. Virginia follows with 23%, Maryland with 2%, Delaware with 26% and West Virginia with 0.6% of hogs and pigs produced in the region.